October 31, 2019
Scripture: Ezekiel 37:1
The LORD’s power overcame me, and while I was in the LORD’s spirit, he led me out and set me down in the middle of a certain valley. It was full of bones.
Thought For the Day: This passage could be the beginning of a good book in the genre of horror. I recognize that there are many different opinions when it comes to Halloween, but I tend to be of the opinion that though most things can go overboard, the general idea of Halloween is not dangerous. In fact, I have always enjoyed the experience and delighted in the families that appear on our doorstep seeking a piece of chocolate or some other yummy item. Though Ezekiel had nothing like Halloween on his mind when writing these words, I sense he was seeking to create some discomfort and even a little trepidation in his reader. Most of us like the light of Easter and beauty of rebirth, but moments before these joyful experiences was something that was darker and discomforting. Unlike the young people in most horror movies who love to go into the dark cemetery at midnight, the rest of us find it downright frightening. Even if we are comfortable around the idea of death, the darkness of a cemetery gives us the Heebie Jeebies. Ezekiel seeks to place his readers smack-dab in the middle of death. A little like the scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark where Indiana Jones breaks through the wall of the tomb only to thrust Marion into a room full of skeletons and mummies. I remember the first time seeing that scene (age 14) and hiding my eyes. Ezekiel takes his readers on a journey, yet he recognizes that the hope of new life cannot start with only kind of dead, or as Miracle Max put it, “Mostly dead.” The power of the story is life emerging out of the depths of hopelessness where darkness appears to be victorious. That’s the story, though frightening, that has the potential of bringing great celebration. More importantly, it provides hope for a people who have come to believe there is no future for them. They feel like that valley of dry bones, and though they have given up hope, Ezekiel meets them in their reality and takes them on a God-inspired journey of renewal and rebirth. That’s good storytelling, storytelling that would make even Stephen King proud.
Prayer: Wherever my valley of dry bones has given up hope, O Spirit of God, come alongside me and allow me to see these symbols of death take on flesh and experience life again. In the name of Christ I pray. Amen.
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